Campus Human Resources Services

Things to do in Southern Maine

If you are new or considering moving to Southern Maine, this page offers a number of fun things to do in the area.

 

  • USM Art Galleries in Portland and Gorham
  • The Portland Museum of Art - Enjoy Collections, Exhibitions, Programs, and Events
  • Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine - Located in Downtown Portland, enjoy interactive exhibits and activities for children and family.
  • Museum at Portland Headlight - Located on the shores of Fort William Park, Cape Elizabeth. Enjoy this park year round from sunrise to sunset!
  • Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse - A fully functioning lighthouse located in South Portland. This lighthouse has been an important part of Portland Harbor history since 1897.
  • The Portland Observatory - The last known tower of its kind. Built in 1807, this maritime landmark has been offering spectacular views and friendly tours for over two hundred years.
  • Eartha - The world's largest revolving and rotating globe. Located in Yarmouth, ME at Garmin's Research and Development Center.
  • The Victoria Mansion - A national landmark located on Danforth St. in Downtown Portland. The beautiful home is renowned for its original interiors and distinguished architecture.  
  • The Home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - This is the childhood home of Maine's beloved and renowned poet and educator. The home holds furnishings from three generations that give you a wonderful feel for different technologies and styles over time. Essentially all items in the home are original to the Wadsworth and Longfellow families.
  • Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum - The home of this famous Civil War General sits on Potter Street in Brunswick. Chamberlain was a former Governor of Maine as well as a professor and President of Bowdoin College. Explore a collection of Civil War artifacts, photographs, journals, military reports and so much more!
  • The International Cryptozoology Museum - This is the world's only museum devoted to hidden and unknown animals. Spark your curiosity and examine compelling evidence of Yetis, Big Foot, Sea Serpents and Lake Monsters. Located on Thompson's Point next to Bissell Brothers Brewing.
  • Boothbay Railway Village - Ride behind vintage diesel or steam locomotives and tour beautiful historic Maine buildings. Enjoy not only trains but Model Ts as well as blacksmith and other artisian demonstrations. This recreated village is located in Boothbay approximately one hour north of Portland.
  • Maine Maritime Museum - Is a 20-acre campus that is located on the Kennebec River in Bath Maine. It includes a historic shipyard with a fully functional boat shop.  Enjoy trolley tours, lighthouse cruises, Victorian-era homes, and the largest sculpture in New England; the schooner Wyoming. 

Portland was named the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year!

We invite you to visit the Portland Food Map, a delicious resource for all that Portland and the surrounding area has to offer a seasoned foodie or someone looking for a special dining experience. You will find map of local dining favorites as well as learn a little history of how Portland got to be named one of the best foodie cities in the U.S.!


Additional local resources that provide some food scene suggestions:


Some local dining options in the Southern Maine area:

  • Dimillo’s - Serving since 1954! Enjoy the freshest seafood as you dine on the water in downtown Portland.
  • Portland Lobster Company (pictured above) - Take in the wonderful waterfront view as you enjoy delicious seafood and live entertainment.
  • Ri Ra Irish Pub and Restaurant - Stop into this downtown favorite for classic Irish food and live music showcases. 
  • J’s Oyster - Portland’s premier oyster location. Serving oysters, pasta, shellfish, lobsters, and steamers.
  • Flatbread Company - Sitting on Portland's Commercial Street. Come in and enjoy amazingly delicious pizza cooked by woodfire ovens.
  • The Front Room - This restaurant/bar overlooks Portland’s East End and carefully prepares the best local ingredients. The Front Room is located off of East End of Congress Street in Portland.
  • Street and Company - This wonderful seafood restaurant has a unique Mediterranean twist. Offering a cozy lounge and a raw oyster bar. Street Co. is housed on Wharf Street of the Old Port.
  • Top of the East - This rooftop bar offers panoramic views of Portland and Casco Bay while you enjoy small plates and signature cocktails.
  • MK Kitchen - Mitchell Kaldrovich and his wife Lisa have combined their experience of working in the restaurant industry to bring Gorham a delicious sophistication. MK Kitchen offers Mediterranean flavors along with Italian favorites like pasta, risotto, and polenta.
  • Blue Pig Diner - This Gorham favorite is located on State Street in Gorham only a short walk from the USM Campus. Enjoy a friendly atmosphere and breakfast dishes like omelets, benedicts, fluffy pancakes and corned beef hash.
  • Sebago Brewing -This Maine favorite has multiple locations including Gorham, Scarborough, Portland, and Kennebunk. Dig into their delicious sandwiches, soups, tacos, creative burgers and tasteful desserts. Sebago always has a rotation of seasonal beers as well as craft ales, IPAs and summer sessions.
  • DaVinci's Eatery - Sits on Mill Street in Lewiston and serves lunch, sandwiches and delicious pizza. Classic favorites like pesto tortelloni, chicken amore, and penne milano are served in a casual atmosphere with an inviting feel.
  • Fish and Bones - This American Grill is a casual and upscale seafood restaurant that has been serving the Lewiston/Auburn area for over twenty years. They offer locally sourced items as well as salads, flatbreads, and sandwiches.

Entertainment

  • Portland Stage - “The leading professional theater in Northern New England, Portland Stage is committed to creating great art, passionate about using the theater to educate, and dedicated to enriching our community.” - Portland Stage Company
  • Bach Festival - Listen to the unparalleled music of Johann Sebastian Bach as performers celebrate his classic ensembles.
  • Longfellow Square - Portland’s most versatile performing arts venues. Enjoy a warm and wonderful atmosphere while you listen and watch live music or theatre productions.
  • Merrill Auditorium - “A beautifully restored 1,900-seat performance venue, this majestic hall is one of the gems of Portland’s downtown Arts District and is located near many excellent restaurants.”- PortTix
  • Thompson’s Point - Striving to become a creative hub of vision and independent spirit. Housing a beloved brewery, winery, event space and concert venue.
  • Portland City Music Hall - Is an intimate and contemporary concert hall that hosts nationally recognized performers.
  • Portland Symphony Orchestra - Is the largest performing arts organizations in Maine. Performing classical music, discovery concerts, The Magic of Christmas and much more.
  • The Escape Room - This experience is the ultimate team building activity! Each room has clues that you and your partner or team will need to use in order to escape.  Work together and communicate clearly to create solutions. Located in Portland, South Portland, Brunswick, and Bangor.  
  • The Center for Maine Contemporary (CMCA) - In Rockland, Maine provides space for exhibitions, classes, and presentations. The mission of CMCA is to celebrate Maine's contemporary art by showcasing and supporting local artists. For over sixty years it has supported Maine's thriving arts culture.
  • Bug Light Kite Festival - Enjoy all things kite related! From workshops to kite races and candy drops. This is a fun-filled afternoon!  Bug Light in South Portland is home to this lively festival that takes place the third Thursday in May. There is always plenty to eat and drink as well as kites to purchase!

Fairs and Festivals

  • Yarmouth Clam Festival - This festival comes to life every third Friday in July and runs until Sunday. This weekend includes a parade, road races, fireworks, delicious food, live music and plenty of arts and crafts! Admission is free and helps to build nonprofit fundraising. 
  • Schooner Fest - Takes place annually during the last weekend of June. This exciting weekend of racing will usually include 5 to 7 traditional schooners sailing Portland Harbor. This event is organized by Tall Ships Portland to help benefit their high school sailing programs. 
  • Art in the Park - This weekend-long event features music, art, dance, theater and takes place the second Saturday in August. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate unique creations and inspiration of artists from all over. Local showcases, martial arts performances, face painting, trampoline acts, and dunk tanks are a few of exciting events that have been taking place for over 30 years!
  • The Great Falls Ballon Festival - Since 1992 this festival has been attracting over 100,000 people to the Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. With launches of air ballons throughout the day, visitors are truly given something special to see and take part in! There are plenty of food booths as well as two live entertainment stages.
  • Great Falls Brew Festival - This wonderful celebration of craft beer is presented by Baxter Brewing during the month of June. Enjoy rare and special brews from all over New England! Enter into a cornhole tournament, visit the food tents and listen to live music! 
  • The Freeport Fall Festival - Thousands of people come to the LL Bean Campus in Freeport for this weekend festival. The campus fills with live music, Chowder Challenges, artwork exhibitions, gourmet food, jewelry, candle making, fudge tastings and so much more!
  • The Fryeburg Fair - This is one of largest agricultural fairs in the United States!  Since 1851 Fryeburg Maine has facilitated a location for traditional fair highlights as well as competitive woodsman events, harness racing, and baking contests. 

Skiing


Hiking


Biking

The State Parks in Maine offer miles upon miles of trials and roads for biking. Check out these thrilling scenes!

Pineland Farms offers over 18 miles beautiful trails.

Check out Bike Maine for details on trails, Merchandise and Route Archives.

Visit the New England Mountain Bike Association for a lists of an expansive list of trails like:

  • Adroscoggin Riverlands State Park
  • Bangor City Forrest
  • Camden Hills State Park
  • Presumscott River Trails
  • University of Maine Trails, Ororno 

Beaches, Paddling and Water Sports

Living in Maine provides great, easy access to any water activity or sport you could be interested in from those that take place in ocean beaches, to lakes, to rivers, there are many locations to take advantage of and water activities to enjoy.